Roland Compact Digital Piano

Last updated date: February 27, 2019

DWYM Score
9.3

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We looked at the top 1 Digital Keyboards and dug through the reviews from 4 of the most popular review sites including Digital Piano Review Guide, Piano Dreamers, Best Digital Piano, Las Vegas Music and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Digital Keyboard you should buy.

Overall Take

Versatility is the name of the game with the Roland Compact Digital Piano. It has the ability to simulate 305 different musical instruments in addition to a baby grand piano. Though more expensive than other models, you'll also get the ability to record the music you create. It uses a special SuperNATURAL sound engine to recreate the depth of the music you'd get from a grand piano. In our analysis of 59 expert reviews, the Roland Roland Compact Digital Piano placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 17, 2019:
Checkout The Best Digital Keyboard for a detailed review of all the top digital keyboards.

Expert Summarized Score
9.7
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
12 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The unique manner in which the SuperNATURAL sound engine combines with the 128 note polyphony, creates a sound full of the natural overtones and harmonics of the acoustic instrument.
- Digital Piano Review Guide
The Roland F-140R has a 1-track MIDI recorder, which makes it easy to record your performances right onboard and play them back whenever you want.
- Piano Dreamers
January 20, 2019 | Full review
Another perk to this system is the Dual/Split mode which allows layering of the keyboard into two zones, used for different sounds. This helps create a completely rounded sound experience with the multitude of tones available. This mode can also be leveraged to create unique songs by combining the Rhythm sections with the split keyboard to play along with and even record.
- Best Digital Piano
July 29, 2017 | Full review
Roland F140R also have the technology of “Super Natural Sound” that Roland is very proud of.
- Las Vegas Music
October 13, 2015 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Bluetooth, however, has expanded that capability way beyond controlling DAWs, by allowing you to wirelessly link to the many soft-synths or DAWs available on Apple’s iOS platform.
- Digital Piano Review Guide
The built-in metronome is a great tool to practice your rhythm and time-keeping. You can adjust the beat and tempo. Unfortunately, you can’t change the sound of the metronome (default: clicking sound) or the volume.
- Piano Dreamers
January 20, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

TOP PIANO PERFORMANCE FOR MODERN LIVING The F-140R is a digital piano built for modern life. With a contemporary, compact design perfect for smaller apartments, it’s also packed with useful technology from the leader in digital piano innovation. First, you’ll experience an authentic, expressive piano tone that’s nothing short of remarkable for such a compact and affordable instrument. The built-in stereo speakers project rich, full sound, while the Headphones 3D Ambience effect completely immerses you in your performance during private practice. Onboard rhythm accompaniments make playing even more fun, giving you control of a backing band that automatically follows the chords you play. The F-140R can help improve your playing and composition too, with onboard recording, Bluetooth connectivity for using with music score apps and a USB port for hooking up to a computer.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Yamaha Arius Digital Piano
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 8
2. Roland Compact Digital Piano
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 4
3. Casio Digital Home Piano
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Yamaha Weighted Action Digital Piano
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
6. Casio Privia Digital Piano
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 7
7. Key Digital Piano
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Alesis Recital Beginner Piano
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 6
9. Alesis Recital Pro Digital Keyboard
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 3
10. Hamzer Electronic Piano
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 1

An Overview On Digital Keyboards

Thanks to technology, pianos have come a long way in recent years. Grand pianos not only take up a great deal of space in a home, but they also can be almost impossible to move. A digital keyboard can give you deep, rich sound, as well as versatility that you’ll never get from a traditional piano. Best of all, you won’t have to dedicate an entire room of your house to it.

Choosing the right digital keyboard can be challenging, though, especially with so many big-name brands competing for your dollar. You can find keyboards that emulate that baby grand piano sound, as well as those that can provide instrumental sounds that come from a harp, organ or a guitar. If you’re learning or teaching others, a model that features dual play mode may be a better choice, since you can play as a duo.

It’s also important to consider the room that will house your piano. If it’s a big room and you plan to entertain large groups of friends, a piano with a built-in speaker system is likely better for your situation than a quieter keyboard. However, some households may find a slightly quieter instrument is more suitable.

One feature that’s popular with many digital keyboard buyers is the ability to record your performances. This is great for sharing on social media, but it’s especially valuable if you want to listen to your results in an effort to improve. Not all keyboards include this, and some let you record to an external hard drive, so definitely pay close attention to recording ability if it’s important to you.

Although it may not be a top consideration, the appearance of the keyboard you choose will likely be important. It will, after all, be a piece of furniture that features predominantly in whatever room you set it. You can choose between a variety of colors, but many digital keyboards have a setup similar to a traditional upright piano. Consider whether you want a deep mahogany, black or white model before you start shopping.

DYWM Fun Fact

To this day, electronic keyboards are heavily associated with the new wave style of music that began in the late ’70s. Called synthesizers, these keyboards were able to bring an innovative sound to the mainstream. In the mid-1970s, a German band called Kraftwerk introduced the sound to the world with its hit song “Autobahn.” The song wasn’t well received, with one publication pleading that we should “keep the robots out of music,” but the sound caught on. Gary Numan began experimenting with the sound in the late ’70s, releasing two hit singles that predominantly featured electronic keyboards. Soon, the music style made its way to the U.S. and was all over airwaves, dominating the radio throughout the 1980s.

The Digital Keyboard Buying Guide

  • If you’re a fan of the traditional piano sound you’d get from a baby piano, consider the Yamaha Arius Digital Piano. The manufacturer sampled Yamaha’s most well-respected concert pianos to create an instrument that matches the tone as closely as possible. The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano is a 128-note piano, compared to the 88 notes offered by some other keyboards in its class. The Roland Compact Digital Piano also features 128 notes, as well as using a split mode to layer sounds, creating a richer experience. You can also use this feature to create original songs that combine rhythm sections and the keyboard. The Roland Compact Digital Piano uses something called a SuperNATURAL sound engine to simulate that baby grand piano sound. With the Casio Digital Home Piano, you get 256-note polyphony and tri-sensor scaled hammer action to enrich its sound to baby grand level.
  • Teachers and students will be interested in a feature called Partner Mode, available on the Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano. This feature lets you play alongside someone else. Using this feature, a teacher and student can play the same song together to allow the student to imitate and learn.
  • One common complaint about digital keyboards is that they simply feel different than a traditional piano. Manufacturers have worked hard to shrink the gap between the two experiences. The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano uses graded hammer action to simulate the way keys move on a concert grand. This feature means the lower-range keys have a heavier touch than those in a higher range. For those who are used to the lighter touch of a digital keyboard, though, this feature may be a negative, making it better suited for individuals looking for that traditional playing experience.
  • Digital pianos have long excelled over traditional pianos in one important way: They take you beyond one instrument. If you’re interested in this type of diversity, you may be more interested in the Roland Compact Digital Piano, which offers 305 tones outside of the acoustic piano, including organs, guitars, brass and synthesizers. The Casio Digital Home Piano only offers 18 choices, and the Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano has only seven.
  • It’s also important to consider how you’ll use your piano. If you’re performing for large groups in a big room, for instance, you may find that the Casio Digital Home Piano is a better choice since it comes with four powerful speakers built in. The Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano, on the other hand, is quieter, making it a better option for smaller spaces.
  • Whether you want to listen to your performances later or share them with others, the record feature is something to consider. The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano lets you record one or two tracks, then put them together to play simultaneously. The Roland Compact Digital Piano, on the other hand, only lets you record one track. The Casio Digital Home Piano not only lets you record two tracks for later playback, but you can also save them to a USB stick or a remote hard drive.
  • Although it’s designed to make music, the truth is your piano will become an important part of your décor. For that reason, it’s hard to get away from the issue of appearance. The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano looks closer to a traditional upright piano and is available in either dark brown or black. It’s also important to note that only the Yamaha Arius Digital Piano and Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano come with a bench, so you’ll face the challenge of finding one that matches if you choose one of the others.
  • Price can be a big differentiator between digital pianos. Whereas a baby grand piano usually retails for at least $2,000, you can find a good digital piano like the Casio Digital Home Piano or Korg Weighted Key Digital Piano for less than $1,000. The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano and Roland Compact Digital Piano are more expensive but still less than $2,000.